Tag: healthy

finally a bike ride!

Redbud Ride London KY 2016

If you’ve been reading my posts lately, you might have picked up on the fact that I have REALLY missed getting to ride my bike!  We had these huge plans to really stick with training all winter.  I mean it!  We went so far as to clear out our small “living room” which held some Queen Anne furniture my mom had given us, selling the small sofa and two chairs, keeping only the wardrobe and four tables (I plan to re-do the tables to match in our family room…SOMEday!) so we’d have room for the bikes and fans and trainers.

In case you don’t know, a trainer is a contraption you can affix the bike to in order to “ride” in place indoors. cycle trainer Click the photo above for more examples on a Google search page so you can understand a little better.

So yep, we got rid of all that stuff so we could become killers on our bikes over the winter.  And we got on the things all of ONE whopping time!!  GAH!!  I think Tommy actually got on a second time, but lemme tell you, as much as I love riding outside, I detest riding inside just as much.  Ugh!  It’s just not fun, as any cyclist will tell you.

In our defense, we did get really sick.  Tommy had some bronchial thing that started his asthma, which had been pretty dormant since just after high school!  He was taking nebulizer treatments four and five times a day there for awhile!  Poor guy.  There was no way he could have ridden in that condition.  And of course, if you know me, you know I wasn’t about to do it without him keeping me going.  (I know, I KNOW!  I really need to work on being a li’l more independent, but there ya have it.  I suck at self-motivation!)

After the season had really started, at least for the dedicated cyclists around here, I had the itch to get out and ride, but I am a chicken.  I don’t like to go riding by myself.  I let fear overtake me and start worrying about my sugar going low or having a flat on the back which I couldn’t change myself if my life depended on it.  I worry about wrecking my pitiful self in the remote areas where we ride and being stranded all alone.  Ha ha… see?  I can really do a number on myself.  Although, in all seriousness, I don’t like to ride alone because I don’t recognize when my sugar goes low anymore.  After the time I sped off a hill going about 35 mph only to stop at the bottom when I got this teensy flash of fatigue and thought, “I wonder if I’m low,” only to find that I was very low, in fact, hovering around 40.  sigh   I just don’t trust my body to let me know that I’m dropping before I do something crazy like that, ya know?  I had no idea I was anywhere near that low and could have SO easily had a major crash.  I like to avoid those any time I can.  😉

But Sunday afternoon, after seeing all the bikes go by the house the day before, we couldn’t take it anymore.  We decided to head out after church.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it all the way back home.  Talk about being MAD at yourself!?!  I was!!  The worst thing is it wasn’t my legs or even my saddle that gave me problems.  It was my stinkin’ neck and shoulders that got so tight and hurt so bad, it felt like the muscles were going to tear through my skin.  ARGH!

me, crapping out at mile ten  :(  Hey, the sign said stop, so I did.  Okay?

I made it ten of the twelve miles and crapped out just before the hills leading back to our house.  How disgusting!  Once those muscles start aching though, I can’t get them to calm down no matter how often or how long I stop to “rest” them.  I’m not sure how to overcome that, but I have GOT to figure out a way!  *sadness!*

Geannie's 2016 inaugural ride gets a thumbs down

                                   Sad. Just SAD!

The start of the cycling season in Kentucky has been well under way ever since it got halfway nice enough to pile on that insulated spandex and pedal, but the official start is our town’s Redbud Ride.

redbud ride kentucky

The Redbud is our town’s annual bike ride which took place this past weekend.  The Redbud Ride has become one of the premier rides of Kentucky’s Century Challenge and it happens right here in London.  Actually, the main route goes right past our house!  Before we got into cycling, we would watch all those “crazy bike riders” go past in the spring for the Redbud and then again in the fall for The Thriller Ride and think, “I can’t believe those people would get out in this weather/this early/in that getup/etc and pedal all day!”  You know what they say… Never say never.  Ha ha!

 I actually know and have ridden with some of these fine folks.  Seriously, if you have ever considered cycling as a hobby or way to get healthy, cyclists are some of the nicest people you will ever meet.  And the most diverse “sports” group you’ll ever encounter too!road cycling kentucky

There are several routes to take.  There’s one for beginners that’s 24 miles, another route that’s 36 miles, a moderate route of 58 miles, an intermediate route of 70 miles and then the “century+” of 102 miles.  That one is the first of the four century rides that must be completed during the season to earn the coveted Kentucky Century Challenge jersey.

kentucky century challenge 2016

My beast-of-a-husband earned his jersey last year!  I was so proud of him!  I seriously can’t imagine riding a hundred miles in one day.  Heaven help!!  I barely did a half-century (54 miles, to be exact) and I cried the last four miles in.  I was SO tired and hurting!  I think I’d stop and curl up in a ditch on the side of the road to cry if I attempted to do 100 miles!!  Ha!

I am SO glad we finally got out to ride.  It WAS a lot of fun til I started hurting so bad.  And now I’m struggling to not let my mind work me over, ya know?  Trying not to tell myself not to try again.  Honestly, if I could do a couple 18-25 mile rides a week, I’d be thrilled.  I think that might even get me back on track with losing weight.  I lost a little over 30 pounds once I really started riding last year and I’ve kept it off, thank God although I’m not sure how!  I would love to repeat that this year, but I sure am getting a pitiful and late start.  *bleh*

And we have the garden this year too.  We skipped putting one out completely last year because we were spending so much time riding, it just didn’t leave time to tend a garden.  We probably wouldn’t have done more than peppers and tomatoes this year except that Mom wanted a full garden, so maybe she will understand if we ride instead of work the garden sometimes.  She’s always been very supportive of me riding.  I’ll have to explain some time how my parents view hobbies and such…let’s just say it’s not very favorably.  Heh.  I think deep down, she usually feels proud of my riding but she really doesn’t understand it.  Once she made a comment when I told her I’d done my first 40+ mile ride (without planning to!) last year “Why didn’t you just make it 50?” as if it was just a matter of trying harder or something.  Bahaha!  She has no clue about factoring in weather, road conditions or daylight, not to mention physical capability.  *pshh*  Funny, Mom.

So there we have it.  At last.  Our first ride of the year in the books.  I really DO hate that my attempt was so pitiful, but I plan to try it again.  I’m not sure how I’ll overcome this neck issue because those muscles stay in constant pain, so when I push them at all, they get really angry.  Maybe I can pre-dose with some ibuprofen and some muscle spray or something.

We shall see!

I Corinthians 9:26-27

26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Blessings to you!!


depression and type 1 diabetes

depression symptoms
Just a quick post to keep this in the forefront for my blog… it’s a sunny Saturday in my part of the world and yet I’m having to force myself outside.  This is the first gorgeous weekend day we have had all year.  So why am I so resistant to go out and enjoy it?
Do I feel all sad and blue?  Not really.  Am I weepy and melancholy?  Nah.  I’m just plain BLAH today.
I recognize this and I realize it’s just one of the many symptoms of my depression.  I know I need to get out, and I actually HAVE to get out (need to pick up scripts at the pharmacy!) so I’m dressed, put my makeup on and fixed my hair.  I’ve made progress already!
And soon I’ll head out to do a few errands.  What I would love to do when I get home is go ride my bike, but I’m having a little problem with that right now.
Don’t laugh… I don’t want to get it out because neither Tommy nor I have ridden the bikes (on trainers in the house) all winter!!  If you want to do rides of 20 or more miles, at least in my case, you don’t need to “let yourself go to pot” and that’s exactly what I feel like we’ve done!
We were both either really busy or sick this winter, and we really didn’t need much en/discouragement to ditch the trainers.  So I’m ambivalent about the bike even though I LOVE riding and have wanted to get on the thing for months now.
Here’s the thing… I’m afraid that if I get on and find out how bad out of shape I am, I’ll get REALLY discouraged and feel even worse about it.  But ya see, I might just surprise myself.  And then again, I might not.
STOP LAUGHING!  You see how I get when I’m a little more depressed than usual?
Ah so… we shall see which part of me wins later.  The Naysayer or the Optimist.
Now that I’ve “said it out loud”, maybe I’ll be even more motivated to just do it!!
I promise to report back in.
Have a gorgeous day, my friends!
Okay, so I got my errands done without getting wiped out.  Thank God for that!  And I DIDN’T make the bike ride, however, I didn’t just flop either.  😉  My intention was to mow our terribly neglected yard, but when I got changed and went out to ask Tommy what the mower needed (oil check, etc?) we discovered that it was out of gas and both gas cans were empty.  Of course… so I headed back to town to fill the cans, came back and let Tommy fill the mower only to then find that SOMEone (who wasn’t me) had left the key on so the battery had run completely down.
Well, ya might as well laugh, right?  As I’ve said, I don’t really enjoy mowing the yard like I used to since I got my foot cut back in 2012 but I was going to do it because it needed doing and Tommy wouldn’t have time.  I’m not really that picky about much, but a yard that needs mowing just bugs the soup out of me!
So I mumbled something about it being a sign that I shouldn’t mow as I came in the house and piddled around til the thing had charged.  At last I finally got to mow only to almost have a panic attack (and I have never had a full blown one of those) when I got out on the steep-ish incline in front of the house.  I normally have some issues with that area, but after the accident, it was worse, but never this bad.  I just told Tommy I couldn’t mow that part.  He was cool about it, which is why I married him.  *pththt*
Now I’m back in the house cooking a bit so we can have a cookout tomorrow, hopefully with some of the kids if they’re not all busy right after church.
All in all, it’s been a good day.  Maybe we’ll both get our courage up and drag those bikes out tomorrow….


an open letter to the t1d mom…

Dear Type 1 Diabetic Mom,

I know you.

I know you are tired.  Tired of worrying about your health and how you can take care of it, your baby, your home, your job, your marriage, your other kids…every other thing in your life that stresses out the most healthy of moms.  I know adding t1d to the mix can create sheer havoc.  I know it’s easy to feel bitter, angry and completely cheated.

I know that being a mom is a monumentally hard job.  I also know that being a mom with t1d increases the difficulty exponentially!


Something else I know is that it’s doable.  Yes, it’s hard.

It’s the hardest thing you will ever do in your entire life.  But you can do it.  I know, because I did it.

type 1 diabetic mothers

Type 1 Diabetic Mothers

Yeah, and if I can do it, so can you.

I have two healthy, productive, intelligent grown sons to show for all the effort to take the best care of myself that I could in order to best care for them.  It was worth every poke, every extra test, every extra bag I packed for my supplies that added to all the things I already had to keep up with for them.  It was worth every tear I cried in private, tears of exhaustion, of fear, of despair feeling that I just couldn’t do it one more minute.

I have to tell you my secret.  You may or may not see it as something that would work for you.  I understand that, but for me, without this “secret weapon”, I would not have made it.  I wouldn’t have survived to escort my boys into adulthood.

My “secret” was (and IS) Jesus.  Without my faith, I could not deal with the reality of diabetes.  I couldn’t deal with the ups, downs and sideways, upside down spirals that it creates in my life.   I encourage you to investigate Him at the very least.  For so many other things in my life, He is my Sustainer, but for motherhood, He was indeed my Savior and thus, the reason my children are who and what they are today.  I am immensely proud of them and thankful for all the Lord has done in their lives.

Another thing that will be essential for “getting through” motherhood with t1d is HELP!  You do not have to do it alone.  Nor are you supposed to.  If you are a single mother on top of it, reach out to friends and family.  If your husband isn’t as supportive as he should be, call on others to help you.  ANY mother is well within her rights, and responsibilities for that matter, to ask for help when she needs it.  If you don’t, you risk failing even more!  ASKING FOR HELP IS NOT FAILURE…IT IS WISDOM.

In my opinion, that’s good advice for ANY mom or any person!   Don’t let pride keep you from reaching out for help when you need it!  That’s just foolish!

Back to you, T1D Mom… I know there will be days when you just can’t seem to get your blood sugars to cooperate.  No matter what you do, no matter that you’re doing everything the doctor has instructed, the disease will not cooperate.  It will become a monster on those days and it is one you will simply have to resign yourself to fight.  Your health and your children are worth ever effort you make.

I KNOW it’s hard.  I know there are times when you just want to quit!  You don’t want to try anymore to control this raging beast that is sometimes T1D.

But do it anyway.  Do It ANYWAY.

You are not alone.  Others have gone before you.  They are walking beside you and coming behind you in this epic battle to remain physically healthy and mentally sane while being a mother with type 1 diabetes.  Your only mission is

               do NOT give up!

I hope this has encouraged you to look for the brighter side, to focus on the good and remember that this season of your life won’t last forever.

If I can help you, encourage you or maybe just reassure you that no matter how bad it may seem, you can’t afford to give up…contact me.  Leave a comment, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter or email me.  All my info is in the sidebar!  I want to remind you… you have too much at stake to let this disease defeat you!  Let me encourage you and let’s encourage each other!





Easy Flow Chart for High BG Management

This is PERFECT!! Show this to those people, in- and outside the medical field, who think managing diabetes is just a matter of following a particular method…
In case you need to print it out and show it to someone who might not understand just how incredibly easy it is to manage diabetes on a daily basis. (I can’t even type it without laughing.) I…

Source: Easy Flow Chart for High BG Management

a healthy homebrew…


When a friend told me about this stuff, I did some research and found this on YouTube, it was called “Good Girl Moonshine”.  My husband, bless his heart, can’t remember names at all, so he inevitably began to call it “Good Girl Juice” and occasionally requests that I fix him a bottle of it.  We can only hope he’s not telling the guys at work what he calls it.  Ha.

Now, I was skeptical upon seeing the downright ecstasy with which these two sisters extolled the virtues and health benefits of drinking this stuff.  But since I’m always looking for something to help give me energy or lose weight, I was game to try it. Here are the simple ingredients for making this concoction:

  • ice (fill a 32 oz. container to the top)
  • purified water (just don’t use tap!)
  • lemon juice  (2 Tsp)
  • ginger root, grated  (2 Tsp)
  • apple cider vinegar [also known as ACV] (2 Tsp)
  • sweetener  (to taste)

First of all, make sure whatever brand of ACV you get that it has “the mother” in it.  Ha-ha.. I know, that just sounds weird, but stick with me.  This simply means the ACV is organic and unfiltered, which leaves it with strands of the apple protein, enzymes and friendly bacteria.  It will appear as a sort-of ‘sediment’ which may float at the top or settle in the bottom of the bottle.  I use Bragg brand because it has been around for forever and has a good reputation for being an excellent product.  ACV has TONS of benefits for your health, including stabilizing blood sugar, promoting weight loss, and aiding digestion among others you can read about here.

Secondly, purified water.  We all know the importance of pure water.  Don’t take a chance with your tap water.

Thirdly… the lemon juice, make sure it is 100% juice and not a cocktail or a lemonade mix.  ALSO, contrary to what I have pictured in this post, it is obviously better to use organic lemons or organic lemon juice.  (I just didn’t have any of either at the time I started snapping pix for the post)  I found a great source for Santa Cruise organic lemon juice.  The best and probably easiest source for the juice OR organic lemons will be a local market.  If you have a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods Market near you, thank God and head over there.  For me, it’s a 160-mile round trip to either of those places!  So I found organic lemons here.

Fourthly, (is that even a word?) and probably the most complicated…ginger root.  My adventures in procuring “the perfect” ginger have been varied and somewhat disappointing.  I’ve bought it from Kroger, Walmart, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

I can’t really tell that it makes a difference where you get it other than from Whole Foods, it will more likely be organic. (but check to make sure if that’s what you’re looking for)  No matter if it’s organic or not, ginger root is gonna be different.  I’ve found some that are a dark yellow, almost brown color, others that are bright yellow and more moist.  Ginger is stringy by nature, but sometimes it will be MUCH stringier than others.  Those daggone strings drive me nuts!  If you can’t find organic ginger root near you, you can order it with the link in this sentence!!


Egads!  The strings!!!

Ginger will grate best when it’s frozen, so pop that baby in the freezer soon as you get it home.  I’ve read posts that say you don’t HAVE to peel it, but I don’t like the papery texture of the ginger peel, so I use the back side of a knife and scrape the peel off as best I can.


We have grown extremely fond of ginger as witnessed by my empty tub of Trader Joe’s famous Triple Ginger Snaps.  They’re the bomb & a couple of them make a nice treat after a delicious, healthy supper.

As you can see below, I have an ancient Salad Shooter that I’ve started using after grating the old fashioned way quickly got too time-consuming.  I don’t know how long my Shooter will work because, seriously, it’s OLD and the grater cone has a crack in it, but it sure beats the grater EXCEPT for having to stop and disassemble the thing to clear the strings.  ARGH!
I’ve also used my old-fashioned crank grater…you know, the shiny silver kind your grandma probably had that you either clamp or suction to the counter.  It is tied with the Shooter for efficiency.  Meh.

I had been contemplating buying a zester, which is basically a very fine shredder/grater but I digress, to see if it would do any better for this. I had serious doubts and didn’t want to end up with another kitchen gadget I had no room to store in my house, but the other day I found one in Burkes on sale, so I grabbed it and lo and behold:


IT WORKS!! And wonderfully well, I might add! I did enough for my 48 ounce bottle in two snaps. FOR REAL! No stopping to clean the blades, no immense waste from all the strings (there ARE no strings with the zester!) Be sure it’s still frozen though, I’m sure that made it all the quicker.  A microplane zester works better than the rounded type, btw, and you can use this link to order one basically like the one I have.  (you can’t count on finding stuff at Burkes, those deals are sort-of the grab ’em when you can type!)
So rejoice and cue the “Hallelujah Chorus” y’all…then run out and get yourself a zester RIGHT NOW!
And now back to your regularly scheduled post….

So, really grating the ginger is the single most time-consuming part of this whole process.  I will admit to using ground ginger in a pinch.

[NOTE:  I finally found some good organic ground ginger!  Go here for Simply Organic Certified Organic Ground Ginger Root

However, let me spare you some pain by sharing what I learned the first time I used ground instead of fresh:  use ONLY 1 TEAspoon of the ground, not a TABLEspoon…and DEFINITELY not TWO tablespoons!!  (stop laughing!)   Be aware, too, that the ground will not completely dissolve, so just be sure to shake it each time before you take a swig so it’s not all concentrated at the bottom or that last mouthful will FEEL like you put 2 tablespoons in it.

Once you finally have your ginger grated, you’re ready to put your concoction together.  You simply put all the ingredients in your jar or bottle (more on that in a sec), shake it up really good and let it sit for about 5 -10 minutes (if you can wait that long).

As for sweetener, I have a couple different things I use.
Yes, I actually use regular ol’ sugar too. Having had type 1 diabetes for over 40 years, I have tasted pretty much every artificial sweetener to come down the pike.  I have tasted some dawg-nasty stuff, trust me.  I don’t really care for any of them, even the newest stuff, and I avoid artificial sweeteners as much as possible.  The THM Gentle Sweet isn’t bad, but I can’t use it all the time but I use it every once in awhile and it’s really pretty good for an artificial sweetener.

Then there are the side effects of using those types of things.  I have never been able to tolerate stevia, but I keep trying.  Most any artificial sweetener will give me a headache.  I don’t need any of those, thank you, so when I am going to “splurge” on a sweet treat, I just go for the real thing and bolus to cover it.  Now you know.  So anyhow, I make a 48 ounce batch for myself (that’s the size bottle I have) and so using around a tablespoon of sugar in that amount along with the properties of the ACV apparently, I don’t need to bolus insulin for it.  It has never caused my blood sugar to spike. (that’s not to say it won’t make YOURS spike, so remember YMMV for any of this stuff!  Just try it first for yourself!)

Okay, now for the bottle.  If you watched that video linked at the first of this post, you will see they are using regular ol’ glass Mason jars.  That’s fine for most anyone, I suppose, but there are many downfalls to using those.  For one, my hands are too small to easily grip a quart jar.  They are glass…difficulty gripping them is a pretty sure bet I’m gonna drop one and break it all over the place.  Not fun.  They don’t travel well.  Sure, you could go ahead and put the flat and ring on it if you wanted to take it with you in the car, but it ain’t gonna fit in the cup holder, ya know?  Then there’s the problem of actually carrying it from one place to another.  What do you do?  Put it in your purse?  No, I had to find a better solution.

My family is full of outdoorsy nutjobs.  Seriously, they love hiking, kayaking, camping, cycling (of course) and rock climbing.  We are always in the market for VERY sturdy equipment.  Somewhere along the line, my husband and boys found these things…

Nalgene bottles rock!  We have about 5 of them just between Hubby and myself.  They are made of a hard BPA-free plastic that’s almost indestructible.  In addition to these Nalgene bottles, we get something called a Cap-Cap for them so that they’re easier to drink from.  (that’s a link for the 2-pack because trust me, once you get a one of these, you’ll need a second one & won’t want to use the bottle without the Cap-Cap!)
You can see most of the Cap-Cap in the above photo.  It essentially lets you have a smaller opening to drink from (eliminating that inevitable face-splash from drinking from the larger one) and still have easy access to the wide-mouth of the bottle for filling with ice and liquid.  I got some of my Cap-Caps on Amazon, but they also carry them in most outdoors or sporting goods stores.  REI is our favorite.  I swear I’m not getting kickbacks, but we do love our awesome outdoor gear!  You can also see this is my 48 oz bottle.  Nalgenes come in 16 oz, 32 oz and 48 oz sizes.  They also have different styles and cap-types available.
The single downfall I have found to using my Nalgene is that it’s like a little baby drinking from a huge sippy cup.  You are NOT gonna sneak a sip from it in a meeting or group setting, trust me.  But if that’s the only drawback, I’m okay with it.  Ha-ha!

I try to get a full 48 ounces of GGJ every day.  I haven’t found that it gives me tons of energy which is really disappointing, but it is obviously helping me lose weight.  After the cycling kick-started my body into dumping some weight, adding this is the only thing that could be helping me continue to lose even after NOT being able to ride for over two months now.  Now THAT is exciting!

One more product before I go… this:

We laughingly refer to that as my Nalgene Purse.  It’s made by a company called ChicoBag and we bought one for me (at REI) after a short hike up to Natural Bridge wherein I had to awkwardly tote that heavy bottle the whole time because I had on running shorts with nowhere to hang it on my pants.
It doesn’t work as well with the 32 oz, only because you will have to roll or push the top of the bag down a bit to expose the top of the bottle, but is designed perfectly for the 48.  Even when I’m just around the house drinking my GGJ, I put it in the bag.  It keeps it from sweating on everything and makes it easy to grab and keep right with me.  I’ve been known to take it into the grocery store or even a restaurant with me.  It “wads” up into itself leaving you with a neat little stuff sack, has a small caribiner to clip your keys to when you head out for a hike or paddle.  It also sports a couple of little skinny pockets on the handle just right for a pen or a tube of lip balm.

Let me know if you start drinking your own Good Girl Juice and how it works for you!  I’d love to hear.


I’ll take it!

So after my last post, I stepped on the scale for the first time in a day or two and found that I had lost another 3 pounds!!!


Yup, I’ll take it!  🙂

spoke too soon…

Ugh.  I just got back from my regular doctor’s office.  I checked my blood pressure this morning and it was 197/101.

Yeah, NOT optimal for health.  Gah.  I was supposed to be at my therapist’s office at 2 pm, but I called to cancel after the doctor’s office told me to get in there by 11:30 am.  I felt bad about that because I canceled last time and I probably really needed to see her this week, but ANYhow…

By the time they got me in and took vitals, my BP was down to 168/79, but still too high.  I talked a long time to the doctor with her trying to understand the history of how I came to have this cough, of how I’d been taken off the ACE-inhibitor completely for about 2 weeks, then put on Amlodipine by my endo and then proceeded to have that dry, slight, hacking, persistent cough like I had before, so I went off it about a week and a half ago and now, here I am with high BP despite having done 8 miles on the trainer for the past four days.

She asked a lot of questions.  Oh, Hubby was there, too…he insisted on driving me after I told him how high it was, so she began to look up the side effects of Amlodipine and tell me that cough isn’t one of them.  Of course, I knew that already, but I also knew that it can cause wheezing and chest tightness, so I assumed that would cause the coughing to return.  That’s why I went off the med in the first place.

She came to the conclusion that I had not been off the ACE med long enough before starting the Amlodipine and I was having a lot of allergy symptoms.  She asked if I was taking my Allegra and Singulair every day, and I do, religiously!  Then she asked about the Flonase, which I tend to forget often.  After I use the neti pot, I have to wait awhile for the “running” to stop, and I’ll forget to use the Flonase.  She stressed that it was really important for me to use that stuff daily, so I gotta do better about that.  She also wants me to start taking a steroid inhaler and to use my albuterol inhaler before I get on the bike.  She thinks the cough is caused by all the irritation I have from the drainage and allergies.

I’m thankful that I didn’t have to go to the hospital because when I saw how high it was at home, I felt sure that’s where I was headed.  The doctor was impressed that I’d lost about 9 pounds since the last time I’d seen her about 3 weeks ago.  I told her that I’d really been trying and she told me to keep it up, that the weight loss would directly affect my blood pressure in a good way.  So…*sigh* I have to get back to the bike.

I have discovered why I have such a love/hate relationship with the bike and trainer…or any kind of hard exercise.  It’s the sweating.  Not that I just hate to sweat, which I do, but most of the time, sweating like that comes when I am having a low blood sugar and totally out of control.  I think that’s why I just really hate getting on the bike.  Once I’m on and I can see how I’m doing with the computer, I can get past it, but that first layer of sweat just makes me feel SO awful.  I seriously think it’s because of 40 some years of that sweatiness being a signal that I’m getting low.

That’s good to know, but knowing doesn’t make it go away.  Ha.  If only…

Hebrews 12:1 – “…and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us:…”

go me!

I am SO pumped, y’all! The past two days, I’ve put my sorry butt on the trainer and pounded out 8 miles each day on my bike. When I did it yesterday, I checked my blood pressure about an hour later and it was better than it’s been EVER while off my BP meds!!

PRAISE GOD!! I am SO thrilled that perhaps there IS a way to avoid those nasty, cough-inducing, make-me-choke medicines and still keep my blood pressure good! Honestly, if you haven’t read the last few posts, you don’t know how much this has worried me. The higher blood pressure was affecting my eyes, is bad for my kidneys… just really bad for me all around. Every time they put me on a new BP med, I would start with the coughing and wheezing again and every time I went off the meds, my BP would shoot up above the recommended 140/90. Yesterday, it was 156/85 and today it is 149/92. I know, I know… still a bit above what the doctor wants, but WAY better than it had been running!

I’m so tickled I could jump for joy! Only, I won’t because I’m kinda tired after my trainer session. Ha ha!

In other related news, we sent for a return number to send my bike computer to be repaired. Remember? Hubby got me one off eBay that has a cracked screen, but the computer works. Turns out, it’s still in warranty, but the warranty doesn’t cover the screen damage. That just tells us that the computer is fairly new and as I’d said, the repair will be about $90. For a computer like this, with GPS, speed/distance/cadence/grade/a-buncha-other-stuff capabilities, you can analyze the crap outta your rides and we also just ordered me a heart rate monitor that displays on the computer in real time, so you can stay in your “zone” the whole time (IF you can, that is! Ha ha!) So even including the price paid for the broken unit, we still end up with a great price for this computer. And I know it might sound like a frivolous extra, but it really helps you keep riding, keep pushing, when you can see how you’re doing, how far you’ve gone, what your cadence is and all that. It’s very motivating.

I’m so hopeful that with this proof that riding will help my blood pressure, I’ll be more apt to keep it up and in the process lose some weight and end up a healthier, happier gal. I’m secretly setting a goal to be in much better shape before I turn 50. I haven’t set any concrete goals, but generally, I’d love to lose a ton more weight, like at least 50 pounds. I would be thrilled beyond my wildest dreams if I could get that much weight off.

But in my mind, that sounds impossible. But I’m looking for and clinging to hope. I am praying for the determination and dedication to stick with this. To learn, in the process, how to set and stick to goals and carry out good, healthy plans.

Maybe get a little more disciplined in the process?? That one is a stretch for this completely undisciplined gal, but here’s hoping.

Hebrews 11:1“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

under pressure…

Well, it seems I can’t win for losing on the blood pressure front.  If you’ve been keeping up with my medical stuff, you’ll know that I was put on blood pressure medication about 15 years ago as a protective measure for my kidneys.  I did not have high blood pressure at that time and the dose of medicine they put me on was very low.

I took that (an ACE inhibitor) for about 7 years when I started having this horrific cough.  It came on slowly, but developed into this awful tickle in my chest that would either be made worse by laughing (of all things, right?!) or would just progress on its own until I was doubled-up, trying in vain to draw a breath without that squeezing in my chest making me cough violently.

Of course, at first I didn’t realize that one of my meds was causing the cough and thought I must have some kind of weird cold or bronchial thing.  Finally though, the doctors figured it out and took me off the medicine.  The cough got better almost immediately, but I was left with an asthmatic-like reaction to getting tickled (ie: laughing a lot) or getting a mild chest cold.  I would start coughing like a two-pack-a-day smoker and need an inhaler to even start to calm it down.

Now, however, the inhalers don’t seem to help at all.  I was eventually put on a different blood pressure medicine a year after the first diagnosis of the ACE-induced cough and seemed to do fine with it until recently.  With insurance being the nightmare it is, I had to change meds because they wouldn’t cover what I’d been on.  That led to being inadvertently put on a similar medicine and in a few months, the cough was back, but it started when I had an awful flu so I didn’t make the connection til a month after the flu had gone.

Talk about being ticked.  I was and am!!  My endo just took me off any bp meds altogether and told me to watch and make sure my bp didn’t get over 140/70.  Within a week, I was having 185/90 bp’s so he put me on Amlodopine.  Guess what?  That is making me cough too.

I am infuriated and just don’t know what to do.  I mean, first of all, I’m a little ticked that they put me on this crap when I didn’t even have bp issues, ya know?  Even though I realize that’s kinda the protocol, still…  It’s diminished my quality of life, ya know?  And I don’t need meds to do that.  I have a non-functioning pancreas that’s been doing that just fine for decades now.  Ugh.

There’s also the deal where, after having that awful rash in my armpits for 3/4 of last year finally getting to the bottom of that (took 5 doctors who couldn’t dx it to get the one who finally did:  contact dermatitis, of all things?!) and now I seem to be a lot more allergic to MANY things that didn’t bother me before.  Or at least, didn’t irritate my lungs… like fabric softeners and body sprays or heavy perfumes.  So now, not only does my skin react quite negatively to certain things, but strong chemical odors make me cough my lungs out too.

That doesn’t go well with the bp meds making them so reactive too.  UGH!

I stopped taking the Amlodopine about 3 days ago but the cough isn’t hugely improved.  I might try it again, just to see.  I really think that my lungs are just so irritated now that any little thing makes them flare up, ya know?  So I can’t tell if it is actually the medication or other things making me cough.  More than likely, I’m afraid, it is both.

I have always dealt with getting head-achy when coming in close proximity with “loud” chemical odors… someone who can’t set perfume application limits, the laundry aisle at the grocery or the aerosol aisle in the auto parts place.  But now it’s not just headaches, it’s problems breathing.

I sure never realized what an awful problem something like this can be.  I have no clue how to control blood pressure since I really have a pretty decent diet, ya know?  I am gong to do some research and see what I can find out, though.  I am guessing more exercise would be a good start.

Sheesh… and today is SO not a good day to start that since The Monthly arrived last night and I am cramping horribly today.

Hubby had a doctor appointment today and found out his cholesterol is way down and his blood pressure is doing good.  He is off the cholesterol meds because they just made him swell and feel bad, but he does take a couple different bp medications.  His vitamin D was low, so he’s gotta start back on that.  His smart-aleck doctor suggested maybe he ride his bike naked to help with the vitamin D deficiency, adding that it might not help with his criminal record.  *sheesh*  (this is the arrogant jerk-wad doctor that I refuse to see anymore.  he and Hubby get along fine somehow—I don’t get it, but whatever!)   Anyhow, Hubbs called to give me the update on all that and told me to be ready at 6 o’clock and we’d go out and do something.

My first stop will be to pick up some progesterone cream!!  I hope and pray it will help with the cramps again.  I’m too old to be balled up in the bed having period cramps, right?

In other news, I cancelled my appointment with the therapist today because I felt so awful.  I rescheduled it to next Wednesday.  Honestly, I didn’t feel like I had anything to really tell her this week anyhow.  Not sure if that’s a good sign or a bad one.  Does it mean I’m becoming better able to process stuff by myself or is it part of the isolation process again?  I really just don’t know.

Guess we’ll find out next week, huh?  Ha!

Proverbs 4:23Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”